The stationary fuel cell market in the Asia Pacific region earned revenues of $142 million in 2008 and is expected to achieve $1.9 billion in 2015 according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. The revenues in the portable fuel cell segment for the year 2008 were $1 million and are expected to reach $12 million in 2015.
Many nations have set ambitious targets to generate between 8 and 20 percent of power using renewable sources in their total energy production by the year 2020 to 2025. The implementation of various renewable energy projects, including fuel cell technology development in the Asia Pacific region, is an attractive option due to the availability of support from various governments in this region and favorable topography.
Various factors have led the Asia Pacific region to adopt cleaner and renewable energy strategies for the production of electricity. The push for green technologies comes from targets under the Kyoto protocol, emission reduction targets set by various governments, and the support for R&D in green technologies. Fuel cells research is one among the technologies.
Irina Sidneva, Frost & Sullivan’s Program Manager, said that many factors restricted growth in the fuel cell market, including high cost of technology, lack of end-user awareness, and lack of proven track record for reliability during continuous operations. Irina Sidneva added that the potential for adopting fuel cells in various segments is huge due to its technical advantages.
Government subsidies, favorable polices, and incentives are some of the reasons helping the fuel cell market to hold on to its current market position. The further growth of the fuel cell market depends on how local governments market t he concept of fuel cells. Asia Pacific countries, namely, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, are taking significant steps to promote the adoption of fuel cell technology.
However, due to the lack of support from other regional governments and high initial costs, there is limited demand for fuel cells from consumers. In addition, fuel cell technology has to compete with other proven products such as generator sets, batteries, gas and diesel engines. Fuel cell companies are urged to take significant steps to propagate the advantages of fuel cells among the consumers.